My name is Netta Canfi, and I'm an Animator :-)
I've been drawing all my life.
Still, it took me some time to realize that my drawings were actually frames - part of a story.
At first I thought that drawing is just a nice hobby.
I went through half a university degree in Chemistry when I realized that I HAVE to draw, so I did the only logical thing:
I joined the Army.
Well in Israel this is perfectly normal!
I wanted to fly ever since I was a little girl.
I used to have dreams of flying. I still do.
I volunteered for the air force, but they wouldn't have me because I wear glasses. That was the official excuse anyway - many helicopter pilots have such frames. The real reason I was rejected was because I'm a woman. This was just after the supreme court made the army accept women pilots, and they were still screaming and kicking over it. They laughed in my face and sent me away.
I spent most of my service as a boot-camp sergeant, and had a lot of time to draw.
This was when I discovered that my talent is actually useful to other people.
I drew infographics, before I even knew the word existed.
I illustrated articles and publications, and found people truly valued good images as a way to tell a story.
I had found my calling.
One day, the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design announced that it was opening a four year animation program. My mom showed me the newspaper ad, and so I took the bus to Jerusalem to see what the place looks like.
After meandering the halls of the insane Mt. Scopus Campus, I finally found the newborn animation department.
In the basement.
Which is on the 3rd floor.
Like I said. Crazy.
I found the head of the Animation Department, the Famous Illustrator and Animator Mr. Yossi Abolafia, in a small and hidden office, talking on the phone, eating colorful candy drops and doodling rabbits as he did so.
This tall and funny man (who later became my employer and a good friend) showed me around the school, and even though I still had to go through all the entry exams and interviews I knew I had come home.
The four years in art school were a great time in my life.
I met people there who were just like me, and for the first time I was "a normal person" rather than an outsider.
"Normal" is the most subjective of terms, isn't it?
Flying the gliders is an intense and beautiful experience.
Nothing compares to that magical moment, when the rush of air over the wings produces just enough lift - and you realize that you no longer touch the ground.
Seeing the world from cloud level changed my perspective in more ways than one.
It taught me a lot about the world we live in - I learned about Meteorology and Agriculture - two essential knowledge fields for any soaring pilot (Meteorology for going up, and Agriculture for going down!) The thermodynamics I'd leaned years ago in Chemistry came back alive and useful.
Looking out of the cockpit, I suddenly saw how tiny Israel is.
At four thousand feet, cloud base on a good day, I looked to the right and saw the Mediterranean Sea, looked to the left and saw the Jordan River - and realized that this was it.
Being, at times, the only woman in a club of 100 people, allowed me to observe the strong sex at near laboratory conditions... absolutely fascinating ;-)
I've worked for Pil Animation, a leading Israeli animation studio, and there I'd learned all the things they don't teach you in school.
I've done every part of the animation production process, from idea and script, to storyboarding and design, to animation and post production.
At Pil I was everything from a beginner "plug" and "gofer" to the head of an animation team with 9 hard working colleagues.
I also had the privilege of working with animation director Yoni Goodman (then still a part of Pil Animation) on the animated parts of Ari Folman's documentary "The material that love is made of". This series was great fun to work on, and it was also the feasibility test for Folman's dream (or nightmare) project - the Oscar nominated "Waltz with Bashir".
A year later I got together with a Bezalel friend, Ms Maya Weksler, and we founded our own animation studio.
It was called "3 Meter Animation", because that's how tall we are together...
The studio worked for two years and tought me yet some more things they don't teach you in school.
We did everything from commercial presentations to artistic festival openers.
I worked for about two years as a freelance animator for BF-TV, and had a lot of fun doing their channel ID's. I must have done at least 30 or 40 of these.
More specifically, Flash cut-out animation.
I often feel that my students teach me more than I teach them. They certainly keep me up-to-date on what goes on and what is "hip".
This website started for this purpose - to give my students a place where they could go over the subjects we discussed in class.
I knew nothing about building a website, and looked for someone who could teach me.
The-Flying-Animator.com is built with a set of tools called SBI.
Technically, it's a web building and hosting platform, with lots of incredible site-building tools.
But that doesn't even begin to describe it.
When I joined SBI I found an amazing cyber family - dedicated and wonderful people from all over the world. This is a kind of company you don't see very often - they are totally there for you.
The reason I took it? The Action Guide. It's the equivalent of an MA in internet marketing, it taught me how to build an e-business that actually WORKS.
This amazing package is now available for WordPress users as well.
If you're thinking of building a website for your animation business, I think you'll do much better with a content-website, than with a portfolio site.
So, there you have it :-)
You can see more of my animations and illustrations in my Portfolio Site